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Sean Strickland on first title defense: ‘Give me somebody who’s gonna make f—king money’

UFC 293: Adesanya v Strickland Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images

Sean Strickland knows what type of opponent he wants in his first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight title defense.

UFC 293 is comfortably in the rear-view mirror and the new champion, Strickland, is looking at what might be next. Talk throughout the community has centered around a possible rematch with Israel Adesanya, whom he defeated to win the title (watch highlights), top contender, Dricus Du Plessis, or the winner of Paulo Costa vs. Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294 next month (Sat., Oct. 21, 2023).

Ultimately, Strickland couldn’t care less who he draws first as UFC champion. He just wants the match up to bring in the numbers.

“‘Izzy’ would be better, I’m sure the UFC might give him a rematch,” Strickland said on his YouTube channel. “He might take it a little bit more serious and put up a better fight.

“My thing is when it comes to my next fight, everybody’s like, ‘Who do you want to fight?’ I don’t give a f—k, dude,” he continued. “I want to make f—king money. I get those pay-per-view buys. Give me somebody who’s gonna make f—king money. I don’t want to fight anyone boring. Give me someone who’s gonna make money.”

Adesanya publically reflected on his unanimous decision loss to Strickland for the first time this past week (Weds., Sept. 20, 2023). While dissatisfied, Adesanya didn’t think it was “that bad” compared to what it could have been. Asked when he’d like to return and who against, the non-committal former two-time titlist answered simply, “We’ll see.”

Enjoying his spoils as a champion, Strickland plans to get back in action in early 2024 after fighting six times in the past two years. “Tarzan” is 4-2 in that stretch (28-5 overall).

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